READING, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s termite season and time for U.S. homeowners to be vigilant about protecting their home and spotting infestations. The presence of termites within a neighborhood increases the chances of properties being infested by the wood-boring insects and can lead to housing value decreases when it comes time to sell a home. These pests are to be taken seriously. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage to American homes each year. The sooner nests are located and destroyed the more likely property owners will be able to avoid major termite damage.
To show termite activity at local and national levels, Rentokil North America has developed an innovative and interactive termite map. USPestWatch™ plots termite activity monitored by the Rentokil North America companies: Ehrlich Pest Control, which developed the map, Presto-X Pest Control and Western Exterminator. The map provides unique insight into termite hotspots in the U.S. To report an infestation or see if their location is of particular concern, consumers can log on to the map at USPestWatch.
This crowd-sourced data builds a picture of termite activity in the U.S. and provides both consumers and scientists with useful information to understand termite activity. The interactive nature of the map allows consumers to plot their own information and submit it to the site. In doing so, consumers are helping the pest control industry identify termite activity and better understand why one area may be a new hotspot. In addition, such insight may also enable scientists to learn more about the mating behaviors of termites, which occur each spring, and develop more effective control measures for these pests.
Fortifying Property from Termites
Termites are not easy to spot because they live underground and behind the walls of a home. Early detection is the key to a faster, safer, and cost effective solution. Colonies could be made up of millions of wood-seeking termites. An obvious indicator of termites is the mud tubes they build, which are commonly found near the soil or wood next to a foundation of a structure.
“If you have a timber-framed home, it’s important to remain mindful of termites because they can be very difficult to detect. Once they are in your home, damage has already occurred,” said Sean Hunter, Rentokil North America division manager for Wood Destroying Organisms. “Termites are very secretive; they nest in the ground or the wood of your structure and they need only need a fraction of an inch opening to enter your house.”
Termites primarily feed on wood, but also damage paper, books, insulation, and even swimming pool liners and filtration systems. Here are some tips to protect your home from termites:
- Fix broken roof tiles – Termites love moisture. Broken roof tiles allow moisture into your home providing termites a favorable environment.
- Fix leaking pipes which termites find attractive. Termites will forage until they find suitable conditions conducive to termite habitat.
- Keep garden mulch, overgrown plants, trash, and firewood away from foundations, which provides food, moisture or concealment for termites.
- Seal foundation cracks which are a great access point to your home for termites.
Consumers who think they might have a problem with termites can contact Rentokil North America at 800-488-9495 and find their local termite control experts. Regardless of geographic location, they can also visit Ehrlich’s Termite Control page for termite prevention tips and to request a free inspection of their property.